Foreign readers may be forgiven for not noticing that these islands are hosting a popular Association Football Match. That’s soccer to US readers, while many of the rest of you will refer to el futbol. Once there was a country called Britain, and the England- Scotland matches had only a sporting significance. Recently deep undercurrents of nationalism have lent these events a deeper, political frisson. However the heady joys of waving flags play out in the next few years, we hope tonight’s event will pass peacefully enough. And in that spirit, no pun intended, we offer a classic cocktail from both nations. Help as ever from The Hamlyn Ultimate Cocktail Book, available as ever from all good booksellers or online.
Scotland: Rob Roy
This is so good, Sir Walter Scott himself would have loved it. Put one large ice cube into a mixing glass, add one measure of scotch, 1/2 measure dry vermouth and a wee dash of angostura bitters. Stir well and pour into a cocktail glass, Decorate with a spiral of lemon. If they down a couple of these the Scottish forwards will be ready to go through the English defence faster than a load of bad hay through a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.
England: Pimm’s Classic
Famous English persons include Robin Hood, Moll Flanders, Paul Gascoigne, Wallace and Grommitt. All would have enjoyed this most English of cocktails. (You can scale up this recipe to make jugs for garden parties and barbecues).
Take one measure of Pimm’s No.1 Cup and and add to a highball glass. (Ours have real Pimms logos!) Add 3-4 ice cubes, then 2 slices of lemon, two slices of orange and one chopped strawberry and one slice of cucumber. Top up with lemonade and decorate with a sprig of mint or borage, if you can find the latter. Can’t even find it in Waitrose, darling. If you up the Pimm’s dosage or add gin, you won’t just leave Europe, you’ll leave your senses!
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